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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 1, March 2018

Steve Andrews
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA


Until the end of the nineteenth century, the indigenous people of Canada's Pacific Coast practiced what is called a potlatch. When the wealthiest family in the tribe had an occasion such as a birth, a child coming of age, or a death, the family held a celebration that involved eating, dancing, and the giving of gifts.

However, during a potlatch, it was not the wealthy family that received the gifts. Instead, the family that hosted the potlatch gave away most of its wealth. Hunting rights. Fishing rights. Berrying rights. Blankets. Copper pots. At the end of the celebration, the wealthiest family was the poorest family in the community. Until the next potlatch.

a pine branch
heavy with snow
bends down
sheds its burden
rises once more



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